I teach with Comprehensible Input*. Mostly with stories** and conversation and reading. I am often thinking about language acquisition theory and the power of story, and how these collide with real kids in the school setting. I very much believe that all students have the capacity to become proficient in another language.
My purpose and goals as a world language teacher are:
-To engage students with useful language that is at their level of comprehension and that appeals to their interests;
-To foster a safe and encouraging environment where each is a member of our class community working toward a common goal;
-To model positive communication skills, both verbal and non-verbal;
-To provide students with opportunities to express themselves;
-To challenge students to become savvy and empathetic global citizens;
-To arm students with the knowledge, tools and confidence to continue acquiring Spanish.
Here on my blog I pursue those goals by posting ideas and resources, questions and answers, foibles and failures. I share them with the hope that you will read and offer your thoughts and feedback.
I grew up just outside of Council Bluffs, Iowa where I spent a lot of time climbing steep bluffs and riding my Huffy. I moved to Decorah after high school to attend Luther College, where I later graduated with a B.A. in Spanish and Education. I was a four-year member of the wrestling team there. This is also where I started mountain biking, in the rocky bluffs of Northeast Iowa.
I have taught English as a Foreign Language in Mexico and Peru. I lived in Guanajuato, Mx for a semester in college where I attended the University and taught classes at Academia Falcón. After college, I moved to Trujillo, Perú. I spent 6 months teaching at El Cultural English Institute, and 3 months traveling around the country as a gringo sucio.
I worked a year at Omaha Central High in Nebraska, and have spent the last 8 years at Spring Grove School in MN, with some shared time in other small MN districts. I've also taught several evening Spanish classes to adults at Arthaus in Decorah, IA.
Currently, I spend most of my time with my 5 year old son Eben (who loves riding his bike, watching Mr. Rodgers and Planet Earth, and exploring our yard), one-year old daughter Campbell (who is just learning to climb and talk), and my partner Cerrisa (who writes beautiful things and makes the most delicious food). The first thing my kids and I do when I get home from work is go check out our garden.